Lindor: 'This will be an out-of-this-world experience'

Francisco Lindor will share the All-Star Game festivities with his father for the first time. Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

This interview was conducted in Spanish and has been translated. Read it in Spanish here.

MIAMI -- Francisco Lindor was the starting shortstop for the Cleveland Indians in the epic seventh game of the 2016 World Series. But come Tuesday night in Miami, that game will rank second on the list of the most significant games in his young career.

That's because on Tuesday, his father, Miguel Angel Lindor, will be at Marlins Park to cheer him on.

"My father did not see any of my playoff games in person; not a single one of them. He only saw them on television. He was unable to share that experience with me," says Francisco, who is 23.

"My dad doesn't travel on airplanes because he has a nervous condition and suffers from panic attacks. He takes prescription medication for his condition and he's been on it for many years. And I don't blame him. I have tried to make him travel many, many times. But if he has decided that not traveling is what's best for his health, I have to respect that. I love my dad."

Indeed the only time that Lindor's father has seen him play in a big league uniform has been when the Indians make their annual trip to Tampa, just six out of the 341 regular-season and 15 playoff games Paquito (Francisco's childhood nickname) has suited up for in his three years with the Tribe.

"For me, seeing him in Miami will be like my World Series," Lindor says. "To see him there with my little sister and my stepmom alongside the rest of my family, it's going to be something incredible."

Lindor moved to Central Florida from his native town of Caguas, Puerto Rico, when he was 12 years old. His father moved his family from Puerto Rico to outside the Orlando area to support his son's MLB aspirations by enrolling him in Montverde Academy, a prep school well-known for its athletics program.

"I always told him I wanted to play on TV one day, and he always believed in me. It hurt to not have him there during the World Series, but I did have a lot of family there. Almost all of them were there; during the playoffs too," Lindor says. "But the one thing that really hurt was not to have him with me at my first All-Star Game [in 2016 in San Diego]. He couldn't make it. And going to the All-Star Game is something he deserves, not me. I don't deserve it as much as he deserves it."

Lindor won't be starting this year's All-Star Game -- fellow Puerto Rico native Carlos Correa was voted the American League's starting shortstop -- but Lindor still earned his second consecutive All-Star selection, as a reserve, through a combination of player ballot choices and selections made by the commissioner's office.

Despite a streaky start to the season so far, Lindor said that he is very much looking forward to enjoying the experience and is not putting any pressure on himself.

"Playing baseball has many ups and downs; baseball makes you humble in a snap. If you stay focused on winning and stay focused on doing your job, things are going to happen," he said.

"Being an All-Star is both an honor and a blessing. My first All-Star Game was an extremely beautiful experience. I thank God, the fans, my teammates and every single person who voted for me. And it will be a dream come true that my dad can be there [this time]. It will be an out-of-this-world experience."